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India’s most famous muffler is about to make its return

Arvind-Kejriwal-Delhi-Muffler
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
The man and the muffler.
This article is more than 2 years old.

With the mercury dropping in New Delhi and assembly elections now likely early next year, India’s most famous scarf—or muffler, to be precise—is set to make its return to the capital city.

It first attained stardom last winter when its owner, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, campaigned assiduously to win 28 of Delhi’s 70 assembly constituencies. A stunned political establishment watched as the muffler-clad, first-time candidate took oath as the state’s chief minister.

And it stayed mostly coiled around Kejriwal’s neck or wrapped around his head for the next 48 days, before he resigned as chief minister—an act he later termed as a mistake.

That error in judgment—along with Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s unstoppable rise since—could mean that Kejriwal will have a harder time convincing Delhi voters that he and the Aam Aadmi Party are still their best choice this time around.

The unprecedented media attention and public adulation that he received last winter would probably be diminished this year. Yet, he will still hopefully own—and wear—India’s most famous muffler.

Quartz takes you through a photographic journey of Kejriwal’s rise and fall, almost always accompanied by his iconic piece of winter clothing.

Reuters/Vijay Mathur
Arvind Kejriwal shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station in New Delhi on Dec. 4, 2013.
AP Photo
Kejriwal waves to his supporters as he leaves after meeting Lt. Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung on Dec. 23, 2013. The new political party announced that it will form the government in the capital city.
Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee
A muffler-less Kejriwal shouts slogans after taking the oath as the new chief minister of Delhi on Dec. 28, 2013.
AP Photo
The then New Delhi chief minister covers himself with a thick blanket as he rests during a demonstration against the police in New Delhi on Jan. 20, 2014.
AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Kejriwal, center, during a demonstration against the police in New Delhi on Jan. 21, 2014. He accused the police force of targeting the poor for petty offences and refusing to combat serious crime.
AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Kejriwal, right, rests inside his Indian-made Maruti WagonR car during a demonstration on Jan. 21, 2014. The activist-turned-politician shunned most official privileges, including a government car.
AP Photo / Tsering Topgyal
Kejriwal, center, announces calling off a demonstration against the police in New Delhi on Jan. 21, 2014.
AP Photo/Saurabh Das
Kejriwal, center, addresses his supporters with the resignation letter in his hand at Aam Aadmi Party headquarters in New Delhi on Feb. 14, 2014.

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